Australian Shepherd

Breed Information


2022: #12

2021: #12

2020: #12

2015: #17


Australian Shepherd

Other names

Aussie, Little Blue Dog


United States

Breed Group



Herding (AKC:1991 & UKC)



Life Span

12-15 years










Male: 20-23 inches (52-58cm)
Female: 18-21 inches (46-53 cm)


Male: 50-65 pounds (25-29 kg)
Female: 40-55 pounds (18-25 kg)


Black, Blue Merle, Red, Red Merle

Litter Size

6-9 puppies, average 7

Puppy Prices

Average $1000 – $2000 USD

Usually, the average price of an Australian Shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,000 and $2,000, while a top-quality Australian Shepherd puppy can cost as high as $3,000 and upward. Their price depends upon the pup’s age, sex, quality, pedigree, and breeder’s location.

Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

Breed Characteristics



Apartment Friendly


This breed is not recommended for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least a large yard.

Barking Tendencies



Cat Friendly


Child Friendly


Good with Kids: This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

Dog Friendly


Exercise Needs


This energetic working dog needs plenty of vigorous exercise to stay in shape, mentally and physically, or better yet, some real work to do. Very intelligent and craving a good challenge, they need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. If under-exercised, this breed can become restless and destructive.



Moderate Maintenance: The Australian Shepherd has a lot of hair and his grooming needs may appear daunting, but caring for him isn’t as much work as you might think. Brush the coat regularly to remove dead hair that will otherwise land on your clothes and furniture. The rest is basic care. Active Australian Shepherds often wear their nails down naturally, but it’s a good idea to check them weekly to see if they need a trim. Otherwise, just keep the ears clean and brush his teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath

Health Issues


Hypoallergenic: No



Ranking: #42 Full Ranking List



Shedding Level


Moderate Shedding: The Aussie sheds, but it’s a major event only twice a year, in the spring and fall. Frequent brushing, warm baths and thorough blow drying during that time will help keep the handfuls of hair under control. Outside of shedding season, bathe the Aussie only when he gets dirty.

Stranger Friendly




Easy Training: The Australian Shepherd is fun to train because it learns quickly and easily. Aussies are unusually eager to please and adept at a wide variety of sports and games, such as herding, Flyball, and agility competitions.

Watchdog Ability



When it comes to loyal, intelligent, and versatile canine companions, the Australian Shepherd dog stands out. This breed has captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world with its striking appearance and remarkable personality. In this guide, we’ll delve deep into Australian Shepherd dog breed information, covering their origins, unique characteristics, grooming needs, training requirements, and much more. Whether you’re a seasoned dog owner or considering bringing an Australian Shepherd into your family, this article will provide you with valuable insights to ensure a happy and harmonious life with your four-legged friend.

Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information

The Australian Shepherd, often referred to as the “Aussie,” is a medium-sized working dog that originated in the United States, despite its misleading name. This breed gained its name due to its association with Basque shepherds who came to America from Australia in the 1800s. Renowned for their herding abilities, intelligence, and striking coat colors, Australian Shepherds have become popular in various roles beyond herding, including search and rescue, therapy work, and agility competitions.

Characteristics and Appearance

The Australian Shepherd’s appearance is captivating, with a well-balanced body and a luxurious double coat that can come in a variety of colors, including black, blue merle, red, and red merle. Their expressive almond-shaped eyes, often with one or both eyes being a different color, give them a unique and charming look.

  • Coat: The Aussie’s double coat is weather-resistant, with a straight to wavy outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. This coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and to keep it healthy and shiny.
  • Size: Australian Shepherds typically stand between 18 to 23 inches (46 to 58 cm) at the shoulder and weigh around 40 to 65 pounds (18 to 29 kg).
  • Temperament: Known for their high intelligence and strong work ethic, Aussies are energetic, loyal, and eager to please. They thrive on mental and physical challenges and make excellent companions for active individuals and families.

Origins and History

Contrary to their name, Australian Shepherds do not originate from Australia. They were developed in the United States during the 19th century, likely through a combination of various herding breeds. These dogs played a crucial role in herding livestock, especially sheep, in the American West. Their intelligence, agility, and adaptability made them highly sought after by ranchers and farmers.

  • Basque Connection: The breed’s history is intertwined with Basque shepherds who emigrated to the U.S. and brought their skilled herding dogs with them. These dogs contributed to the Australian Shepherd’s foundation.
  • Rise in Popularity: Australian Shepherds gained popularity beyond the ranching community in the mid-20th century, thanks to their impressive performances in rodeos and horse shows. Their intelligence also made them excel in various dog sports and activities.

Grooming and Care

Caring for an Australian Shepherd involves more than just feeding and cuddling. This breed has specific grooming and exercise needs to ensure their well-being and happiness.

Coat Care

The Australian Shepherd’s lush coat requires regular maintenance to keep it healthy and free from mats. Here are some tips:

  • Brushing: Regular brushing, ideally a few times a week, helps prevent tangles and removes loose hair. Use a slicker brush for the outer coat and a softer bristle brush for the undercoat.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Aussie as needed, usually every 6 to 8 weeks, or when they get dirty. Use a gentle dog shampoo to avoid stripping natural oils.
  • Nail Care: Trim your dog’s nails every few weeks to prevent overgrowth and cracking.

Exercise Needs

Australian Shepherds are energetic and agile dogs that require plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Meeting their exercise needs is essential for preventing boredom-related behaviors.

  • Daily Activities: Engage your Aussie in activities like daily walks, jogs, or hikes to burn off excess energy.
  • Mental Stimulation: These intelligent dogs thrive on mental challenges. Incorporate interactive toys, puzzle games, and obedience training into their routine.
  • Herding Activities: Some Aussies have a strong herding instinct. Participating in herding trials or agility courses can provide an excellent outlet for their natural abilities.

Nutrition and Health

Providing a balanced diet is vital for your Australian Shepherd’s overall health and longevity.

  • High-Quality Diet: Feed your Aussie a well-balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. Consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations based on your dog’s age, size, and activity level.
  • Weight Management: Obesity can lead to various health issues. Monitor your dog’s weight and adjust their portions as needed.
  • Regular Vet Visits: Schedule regular check-ups to ensure your Aussie’s health and catch any potential issues early.

Training and Socialization

Australian Shepherds are not only intelligent but also highly trainable. Proper training and socialization are essential to bring out the best in these dogs.

Obedience Training

Aussies are quick learners and thrive on positive reinforcement training methods.

  • Basic Commands: Teach essential commands like sit, stay, come, and down using treats and praise.
  • Consistency: Be consistent with your commands and expectations to avoid confusion.


Early and positive socialization is crucial for Australian Shepherds to develop well-rounded behavior.

  • Puppy Classes: Enroll your Aussie in puppy socialization classes to expose them to different dogs and people.
  • Exposure: Introduce your dog to various environments, sounds, and situations to reduce the likelihood of anxiety or fearfulness.

Common Health Concerns

Like all breeds, Australian Shepherds can be prone to certain health issues. Being aware of these concerns can help you provide the best care for your furry friend.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and discomfort.

  • Symptoms: Difficulty rising, reluctance to jump, and a bunny-hop-like gait.
  • Prevention: Maintain a healthy weight, provide joint supplements, and avoid excessive high-impact activities, especially during puppyhood.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is a hereditary eye disorder that can lead to blindness.

  • Signs: Night blindness, reluctance to go outside in the dark, and clumsiness in low-light environments.
  • Testing: Responsible breeders conduct PRA tests to reduce the risk of passing on this condition.


In conclusion, Australian Shepherds are remarkable dogs with a rich history and an even richer personality. From their origins as hardworking herders to their roles as beloved family pets, these dogs have captured the hearts of many. Remember that while their beauty and intelligence make them captivating, they also require dedicated care, training, and socialization. By understanding Australian Shepherd dog breed information and meeting their needs, you can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling companionship with your furry friend.

Remember, adopting any dog is a long-term commitment, and Australian Shepherds are no exception. Their loyalty and affection will undoubtedly enrich your life, and in return, your dedication and care will ensure they live a happy and healthy life by your side.

So, if you’re ready to embark on the journey of having an Australian Shepherd as your companion, be prepared for an adventure full of love, laughter, and unforgettable moments.

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